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NASA

Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

U.S. Navy Capt. Scott Kelly holds the American record for the longest consecutive time in space, after a 340-day mission to the International Space Station in 2015 and 2016.

Since returning to Earth, he's written a number of books about his experiences, including "Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery," and a children's book, "My Journey to the Stars."

As part of NASA's twins study, astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year in space while his twin brother, astronaut Mark Kelly, stayed on Earth. That year on the space station makes Scott Kelly the American record holder for consecutive days in space. To get through that year, he had a routine.

Imagine more than 600 days in space; that's 21 months cruising the cosmos, or close to two years without flush toilets or pizza.

On Saturday, Astronaut Peggy Whitson touched down in Kazakhstan at 9:21 p.m. EDT alongside a fellow American and a Russian in their Soyuz capsule, wrapping up a record-breaking mission.

Vice President Mike Pence promised to return Americans to the moon during his visit Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center. Pence touted a commitment to returning to the moon, and putting humans on Mars under the leadership of President Trump.

“We will return our nation to the moon. We will go to Mars, and we will go still further to places that our children’s children can only imagine.”

Aquarius Program at FIU / USF Research & Innovation

Sixty feet beneath the water’s surface in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary sits one of the world’s three undersea research laboratories.

And as you read this, the Aquarius Reef Base is home to an international crew of researchers, including Dominic D’Agostino, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine.

U.S. Air Force

Sonic booms surprised residents across central Florida  Sunday morning due to the landing of a top-secret military space plane at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

The X-37B is a classified, un-crewed Air Force space plane that touched down at Kennedy Space Center's shuttle landing facility. Not much is known about the 29 foot long robotic spacecraft, its space missions or what it delivered into space.

Could there be life under the icy surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus?

Scientists have found a promising sign.

NASA announced on Thursday that its Cassini spacecraft mission to Saturn has gathered new evidence that there's a chemical reaction taking place under the moon's icy surface that could provide conditions for life. They described their findings in the journal Science.

Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET

Poised on the brink of ushering in a new era, NASA's historic launch pad in Florida will need to wait another day for its milestone. At the last minute, the private space company SpaceX scrubbed its Saturday launch, which would have marked the first time the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A was used in over half a decade.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson, a fellow Democrat and a fellow Shuttle astronaut, took to the Senate Floor Thursday to honor the memory of former Senator John Glenn.

Updated 5 p.m. ET

The first American to orbit the Earth has died. John Glenn was the last surviving member of the original Mercury astronauts. He would later have a long political career as a U.S. senator, but that didn't stop his pioneering ways.

Glenn made history a second time in 1998, when he flew aboard the shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to fly in space.

Glenn was 95 when he died; he had been hospitalized in an Ohio State University medical center in Columbus since last week.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

(Originally aired Sept. 27, 2016)

Few states have as close a tie to the U.S. space program than Florida, so it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s a growing number of would-be rocket scientists at the University of South Florida.

SpaceX

An explosion has rocked the SpaceX launch site in Florida.

NASA says SpaceX was conducting a test firing of its unmanned rocket when the blast occurred Thursday morning. The test, considered routine, was in advance of a planned Saturday launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The same technology sending astronauts to space could be used here on Earth.

That’s the message from NASA’s Technology Transfer Program, which is reaching out to Florida health care companies and executives. Kennedy Space Center’s Mike Lester said NASA has more than 1,400 patents that companies can commercialize, including more than 40 health care patents.

Yesterday, NASA announced that astronaut Scott Kelly will retire from the space agency as of April 1st. Kelly holds the U.S. record for the most time spent in space.

For nearly a full year, he zoomed along at 17,500 miles per hour — orbiting 230 miles above earth — on the International Space Station. And for those million or so of us who follow him on Twitter, Cmdr. Kelly's year in space gave us a mind-expanding view of planet Earth.

Kelly posted spectacular photos — awesome, in the true sense of the word. He called them, earth-art.

Many Americans watched in shock as the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated over the Florida sky 30 years ago.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, D-FL, was one of the viewers who had tuned in to the national broadcast. Then a U.S. representative, Nelson arrived back to earth only 10 days earlier after a six-day mission in space. 

It would be the final successful mission to space before the Challenger disaster.

It was a routine launch for the Atlas V booster, which was carrying a Mexican satellite into orbit as it lifted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Friday morning. But the rocket's expanding exhaust plume was anything but ordinary.

NASA photo

The state’s aerospace authority is pressing ahead with plans for a commercial spaceport inside the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge at a site called Shiloh.

Space Florida is undeterred by Sen. Bill Nelson’s recent comments that the Shiloh spaceport won’t happen.

Frank DiBello, president and chief executive officer of Space Florida, says space companies are calling for a commercial spaceport free of government bureaucracy.

He says the Central Florida Democrat’s comments don’t complicate the agency’s position.

Update at 5:20 p.m. ET: Space Lettuce Tastes 'Awesome'

Monday morning on the International Space Station, NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren and astronaut Kimiya Yui of Japan sampled the "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce, the first plant grown in space. The trio first sanitized the leaves and then dressed them with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. According to Kelly, the lettuce tasted "kind of like arugula." Lindgren was unequivocally pleased, taking a big bite of one of the leaves and declaring: "That's awesome."

AP Photo

NASA is offering up wreckage from the Challenger and Columbia for public view after hiding it from the world for decades.

A new exhibit at Kennedy Space Center features two pieces of debris, one from each lost shuttle, as well as poignant, personal reminders of the 14 astronauts killed in flight.

It is an unprecedented collection of artifacts – the first time, in fact, that any Challenger or Columbia remains have been openly displayed.

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